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U.N. Security Council condemns rocket attack on Israel

The U.N. Security Council, adding to a chorus of disapproval, condemned a weekend rocket attack on Israel, calling it a "serious breach" of the cease-fire along the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Two rockets fired from Lebanon Sunday landed in northern Israel, causing damage but no casualties. The Lebanese army said three rockets were fired altogether and that troops sent to search the suspected launching area next to the Israeli border found a fourth one equipped with a timer.

"The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the rocket attack launched against Israel from southern Lebanon ... which constitutes a serious breach of the cessation of hostilities and a flagrant violation of Resolution 1701," a council press statement said, referring to the resolution that ended last summer's monthlong war between Israel and Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group.

U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas told reporters Monday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "strongly deplores the rocket attack."

Ban urged all parties to "exercise maximum restraint," noting that the attack was the most serious violation of the cease-fire to date, Montas said.

The council commended the Lebanese government for promising to bring the perpetrators to justice. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said Sunday the attack aimed to destabilize Lebanon by casting doubts about the ability of the army and U.N. peacekeepers to protect the border zone.

"The state ... will spare no effort in uncovering those who stand behind this incident, which is aimed at attempting to undermine the stability" of Lebanon, Saniora said in a statement.

The council statement also said the members "reaffirmed their full support to the Lebanese government and army in their efforts to ensure security and stability throughout Lebanon."

It further urged all parties to respect the U.N.-drawn boundary between Israel and Lebanon, known as the Blue Line, and to support the U.N. peacekeeping force that monitors the region.

The 2006 conflict started with a cross-border raid by Hezbollah in which three Israeli soldiers were killed and two captured. Israel launched an air offensive against Hezbollah targets and Lebanese infrastructure. The war ended inconclusively after 34 days.

Hezbollah denied being behind the attack, and a previously unknown militant group, Jihadi Badr Brigades - Lebanon branch, claimed responsibility.

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